When Bad Things Happen to Good Leads - Part 4

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Mar 5, 2015 10:28:00 AM

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So far over the course of this series we’ve covered how marketing to non-lead outcomes, such as pipeline and nurture dispositions*, can substantially increase return on marketing programs. Yes, we have a problem in that sales has a tendency to ignore leads from marketing. Be that as it may, marketing is not exactly making use of the valuable data that results from their efforts either. Our topic here in part 4 is unresponsive outcomes—what we refer to as “no response” dispositions. For every 100 “suspects” dispositioned, 35 - 45 of them will be unresponsive to the first touch cycle; HOWEVER, did you know that a considerable portion of those non-responsive names will close as business for your company (or a competitor) within one year? The key is not to give up too early.

WhenBadThingsHappen_Image_Non-Response_200Why You Should Recycle Non-Responsive Suspects

If you’re familiar with me at all, you’ve heard me reference the story I’m about to share. One of my favorite memories is a project we did for a client some years ago. This client sold business process outsourcing services to large companies, and they were a significant global player.

Our target market was CFOs at the top 50 utilities in North America. On the 42nd touch (a combination of voicemails, emails, and one overnight package over a THREE MONTH PERIOD), the CFO of the 4th largest utility called back and left a message, saying, “Don’t stop calling me. You are my conscience. I want to talk to you but I have been extremely busy. Call me back on Tuesday two weeks from now at 10:00 AM my time and I will take that call.” We called back, generated a lead and it closed as a $1 Billion deal for our client five months later. True story!

This CFO had saved the following (during the previous quarter):

  • A voicemail
  • Two emails
  • The overnight package we sent to him (industry magazine with a cover picture of one of our client’s customers who happened to be the CFO of another large utility).

What would have happened if we had thrown in the towel after the first round? More than likely the business would have been won by a more tenacious competitor.

How to Generate Leads from No Response Dispositions

In any group of 100 suspects you will have 35 - 45 that are unresponsive to a single touch cycle (typically three voicemails and three emails over about ten business days). By the time you analyze results from the first touch cycle, you will have learned that some list segments are unproductive, perhaps bringing down the total number of worthwhile non-responsive suspects to 25 - 35. The beauty of this is that your efforts have not at all been unproductive. Even if you have not yet had a conversation, you’ve been learning about the suspect. The longer the suspect stays unresponsive, the more your messaging starts to tighten up. Eventually suspects become prospects; prospects become nurtures; nurtures become pipelines; and pipelines become leads. On average, 2 - 4 additional leads can be generated per 100 original suspects (25 - 35 non-response suspects). Here’s how we’re stacking up:

  • 5 highly qualified, sales-ready leads generated from a new, “cold” list.
  • 5 pipeline dispositions identified (which will convert to 1 - 2 additional, incremental leads).
  • 25 - 30 companies identified as nurture dispositions. Over time, an additional 5 - 6 leads (or about 20% of the total) will result from nurturing the “nurtures.”
  • 35 - 45 will result in non-responsive outcomes. With further analysis, this number can drop down to about 25 - 35 worthwhile no response dispositions, from which 2 - 4 ADDITIONAL leads can be generated with further nurturing.

What you have is the potential for a total of 15 - 17 leads—three times the number of leads you would have received had you stopped after the first touch cycle. All because you did not give up!

In the next and final installment of this series, we’ll discuss how senior executives respond differently than their junior counterparts and why they are significantly less likely to give up their digital body language via marketing automation. Don’t miss it!

Read the other posts in my "Nurturing" series:

Part 1: Why Are Leads Ignored by Sales?

Part 2: Don't Underestimate the Value of the Pipeline

Part 3: Maximize Revenue with Lead Nurturing

Part 4: This post

Part 5: Reach Out to the C-Suite, They Will Respond

*Disposition - noun: the classification of a prospect account as determined after a cycle of lead qualification activity; verb: to classify prospect accounts using a cycle of lead qualification activity. Standard PointClear disposition categories include: Lead, Pipeline, Nurture, Disqualified, No Response, Bad.

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